Mayor-elect Darryl Walker after being named White Rock’s newest mayor. (Alex Browne photo)

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

White Rock’s mayor-elect Darryl Walker does not drink White Rock’s tap water.

The just-elected Walker told Peace Arch News Sunday morning that he didn’t trust the water coming out of the taps in the city’s homes.

And he doesn’t think he’s alone.

“In most cases, people aren’t drinking the water. Seems to me there’s something wrong when I’m paying for the water and I’m not drinking it,” Walker said.

During the campaign, Walker’s winning slate Democracy Direct called for a full review and post-audit of all decisions made relating to the purchase and post-purchase operation of the city’s water utility. The city revealed last year that it paid $13.4 million for the water utility from Epcor.

The Democracy Direct website notes the “high levels” of arsenic and manganese in the water.

“That’s one of the other things I think we’ll look at straight away. It’s what we’ve promised the people as we’ve gone on about our platforms, our pamphlets and so on. We’re going to follow through on those things and do what we told the people we were going to do,” Walker said.

The City of White Rock and Fraser Health have maintained that White Rock water is safe to drink.

Anti-highrise slate sweeps White Rock

Walker said it was up to the citizens of White Rock to “hold our feet to the fire” after his Democracy Direct slate swept the White Rock Coalition in Saturday’s civic election.

All four of Walker’s running mates and two independent incumbents have been elected councillors, according to unofficial results. According to Civic Info BC, 6,276 residents voted out of an eligible 15,862.

The results show mayoral candidate Walker winning the seat with 1,883 (30 per cent) votes, followed by independent Mike Pearce with 1,722 (27.4 per cent) and White Rock Coalition mayoral candidate Grant Meyer with 1,319 (21 per cent) votes.

The six candidates who have unofficially won a seat in the council chambers include independent incumbent Helen Fathers with 2,801 (44.6% per cent) votes, David Chesney with 2,491 (39.7 per cent), and Democracy Direct candidates Christopher Trevelyan with 2,350 (37.4 per cent) votes, Erika Johanson with 2,137 (34.1 per cent), Scott Kristjanson with 2,024 (32.2 per cent) and Anthony Manning with 1,863 (29.7 per cent) votes.

Three White Rock Coalition incumbents – Megan Knight with 1,764 (28.1% per cent) votes, Bill Lawrence with 1,703 (27.1 per cent) and Lynne Sinclair with 1,642 (26.2 per cent) – were next but did not get elected.

In the weeks leading to voting day, Walker said it became clear that the citizens of White Rock wanted a change from the White Rock Coalition, which held four seats prior to the election.

“They’re not the council that people of White Rock trust anymore, and they have got to go and they have gone,” Walker told Peace Arch News Sunday morning. “And they have gone in an amazing, if you will, sweep.”

Democracy Direct now controls five of seven seats on council, and Walker said incumbents Fathers and Chesney are two people “that appear to care for the community.”

“I think that they did as much as they possibly could to fight for this community through a very difficult time,” Walker said.

White Rock independent incumbents David Chesney and Helen Fathers wait for poll results Sunday. (Alex Browne photo)

Last month, Walker and councillor-elect Erika Johanson submitted a 1,286-signature petition calling for a moratorium on highrises until “after the 15 highrises already approved by council have been completed.”

After Walker and Johanson presented the petition to council Sept. 17, White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin went on a self-described “rant” and said the petition was meaningless, disingenuous, and demonstrated a lack of knowledge that made the Democracy Direct candidates “not fit for office.”

“It was said of myself and others that we were not fit to govern,” Walker said Sunday. “Obviously, the people of this community said no, that’s wrong. We’re going to give them a chance to govern… We will move on to what we want to do, move on with our plans.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

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From left, Democracy Direct council-elects Christopher Trevelyan, Erika Johanson, Anthony Manning and Scott Kristjanson. (Alex Browne photo)

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